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Design and fabrication of tissue-like phantoms for use in biomedical imaging.

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The continuous need for tissue-like samples to understand biological systems and the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic applications has led to the adoption of tissue models using potential materials. This work presents a low-cost method for manufacturing PVAslime glue-based phantoms to replicate diseased and healthy biological tissues’ optical, mechanical, and structural properties. The deformable phantoms with complex geometries are vital to model tissues’ anatomic shapes and chemical composition. Absorption and scattering properties were set by adding black India ink and aluminium oxide (Al2O3) particles in varying quantities to obtain slime phantom tissues with optical properties of the brain, malignant brain tumour, lung carcinoma, and post-menopausal uterus. The phantom properties were characterized and validated using a He-Ne laser emitting at 532 nm and 630 nm wavelengths propagated through various thicknesses of the fabricated phantom. The incident and transmitted intensity were measured to determine the absorption coefficient (a) and scattering coefficient (s). Furthermore, the effective attenuation coefficient (eff ) and penetration depth () were deduced from the reduced scattering coefficient (0s) and the anisotropy factor (g) obtained through the scattering phase function and Wolfram Mathematica. The anisotropy factor demonstrated a forward scatter, typical of strongly scattering media as real tissues. Such geometrically and optically realistic phantoms would function as effective tools for developing techniques in diagnostic and therapeutic applications such as laser ablation and PDT cancer treatment.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.